Beyond personalization and anonymity: Towards a group-based recommender system

Shang Shang, Yuk Hui, Pan Hui, Paul Cuff, Sanjeev Kulkarni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

21 Scopus citations


Recommender systems have received considerable attention in recent years. Yet with the development of information technology and social media, the risk in revealing private data to service providers has been a growing concern to more and more users. Trade-offs between quality and privacy in recommender systems naturally arise. In this paper, we present a privacy preserving recommendation framework based on groups. The main idea is to use groups as a natural middleware to preserve users' privacy. A distributed preference exchange algorithm is proposed to ensure the anonymity of data, wherein the effective size of the anonymity set asymptotically approaches the group size with time. We construct a hybrid collaborative filtering model based on Markov random walks to provide recommendations and predictions to group members. Experimental results on the MovieLens dataset show that our proposed methods outperform the baseline methods, L+ and ItemRank, two state-of-the-art personalized recommendation algorithms, for both recommendation precision and hit rate despite the absence of personal preference information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 29th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2014
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781450324694
StatePublished - 2014
Event29th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2014 - Gyeongju, Korea, Republic of
Duration: Mar 24 2014Mar 28 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Symposium on Applied Computing


Other29th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2014
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software


  • Group-based social networks
  • Privacy
  • Recommender system


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